CHICAGO — StackTeck Systems Inc., a holding company for manufacturers of injection mold tools, plans to create Tool Town, a two-building campus uniting several of its companies on one site.
The company (Booth S157) will move Rexdale, Ontario-based Tradesco Mold Ltd. and Scarborough, Ontario-based Unique Mould Makers Ltd. to the new location, dramatically expanding the space for both companies.
At Tool Town, due to open in phases beginning this fall, the company also plans to integrate the companies' plate lines and hot-runner-system operations and create a large testing center and mold-repair shop for both firms.
StackTeck offices also will be located at the new site.
StackTeck will invest more than $4 million to create the buildings for Tool Town and plans to spend another $3 million to $5 million in new equipment at its three tooling shops, said David Brown, president and chief executive officer of the Rexdale-based firm.
A goal of building Tool Town is not merely to expand space for the tooling shops, Brown said.
Instead, the site plans to offer "art to part" turnkey support. The campus will offer such services as mold design and engineering, prototyping and process evaluation and will even tie the mold to an injection molding machine and parts-handling system.
The company wants to change the traditional approach, where a material or parts supplier selects a toolmaker after a product is developed, Brown said.
"Instead of just being a toolmaker, we want to provide a system for our customers," said Brown in a June 19 interview at NPE 2000. "We are creating a place that puts us closer to the product, so that our customers think of mold makers first in development."
The campus, based in Brampton, Ontario, will be completed by the summer of 2001, Brown said. Tradesco, a maker of stack molds for thin-wall packaging and other products, will nearly double its floor space, from 55,000 square feet now to 104,000 square feet.
Unique, specializing in tooling for caps and closures, will increase its size from 25,000 to 45,000 square feet.
Other operations of the companies will merge, including mold tryouts and repair, added Tradesco President and Chief Operating Officer Henry Rozema.
"We can more rapidly respond this way," he added.
The plating and hot-runner-operations plan to move later this year, with Tradesco moving in the first quarter of 2001 and Unique shifting operations in the second quarter, Brown said.
The company also has invested close to $1 million to expand a third tooling company, Fairway Molds Inc. of Walnut, Calif. The company has added 4,200 square to its 26,000-square-foot building and relocated its four tryout presses to the new space, Brown said.
StackTeck, purchased by Brown and other investors in 1996, bought Unique last year and Fairway in 1998.
The company is close to acquiring an unnamed mold builder in the Midwest, Brown said. With that acquisition, StackTeck expects to reach sales of US$60 million this year, he added.
Future acquisitions could focus on companies providing molds for electronics parts, blow molds or those working with large parts, Brown said. "We're always looking for opportunities to move in new directions," he said.
Meanwhile, StackTeck is continuing its global expansion. By the end of the year, StackTeck will open sales offices in Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico, and in Sao Paulo, Brazil, said Fernando Segovia, StackTeck vice president of business development.
The company plans to open offices in the Pacific Rim and the United Kingdom in the near future, Segovia added.